It seems like January has been a busy one, yet I've accomplished very little. I did a few words on TZC6 and some on Shine On, but not nearly as much as I had planned. Planning versus life. I have heard tell when man makes plans, God laughs. Not I am one of the faithful, but I like the sentiment.
The cold really set in here, I have one of those fancy tankless water heaters. Those are wicked awesome (to channel my inner 'Mainerd') but they require a fresh air intake to burn the gas, otherwise they would suck all the oxygen out of the house. I'm no scientist, but I think leaving the house without breathable air might be detrimental to the health of the occupants, so, of course I put in the fresh air intake. Now, a lesser known fact is that the furnace also pulls air in from outside, but during peak use it can and does pull air from the house, if the pressure from doing so is less than the pressure of pulling air in through its own intake. My tankless water heater is in the same room as the furnace and, apparently, the furnace found it easier to pull air through the water heater than its own intake. All that air in the negative 20 range being pulled through the tankless heater froze the water in the wee little copper pipes and burst them. One weekend morning I went to use the hot water and got nothing, not even a trickle, which was odd as my system has a secondary (tanked) heater built into it, so that meant the system was blocked...with ice in this case. I thawed it out, hoping for the best, but alas, the best wasn't good; the pipe had burst, and the water fall commenced. No damage as wise old 'past Mark' hung the heater over the sump pump, but the tankless was shot.
Like I said, I have a backup tanked heater built into my system (past Mark is well known to be a paranoid bastard) and so I was able to reroute the plumbing lines to use only the smaller heater and isolate the tankless and stop the flow of water. Still a minor financial mess and there is work still to be done there. I have the new heater and a space heater and timer too, but really am considering building a custom device that gets the local temperature (from Madrid's weather station) and kicks on the heater whenever the temperature gets below, say 15 degrees and the time of day is between 10pm and 7am.
Among other things that have been occupying my time is a computer game. “They are Billions” appeals to me on many levels. It is a game where you build a village and defend against hordes of zombies attacking you from between 30 and 150 days. There are lots of setting and a ‘campaign mode’ is coming soon too. I haven’t played any video games this much since the “Space Empires” decade of 2004-2014. A good game to spend time on as I find myself alone at home quite a lot this month. Sure, I could be writing and probably should, but mentally I’m not there and I know better than to force words out when I’m not in the mood. I’ve been reading a lot too, finished off about 8 books I got for Christmas, I am loving the Kindle Fire even more now. This is something I have mixed feelings about. I like the conveniences of the Fire as a consumer, but I do not like the polices that Amazon imposes on me as an Author. Not much I can do about it though, so I abide.
Netflix also has taken up some of my time, fucking “Godless” was brilliant, an old western style series the way old westerns should be made. Whitey…damn it. “Dark” is another series worth watching despite it’s poor and often funny dubbing (It is s Netflix original, but created in/for Germany), a science fiction series worthy of the goddamn name. Very intellectual and my brain is still hurting a bit when I think of everything going on in that series.
Gamicon is coming up the last weekend of February and soon after that is Garycon for a variety of reasons this is probably the last year I will attend either, though there is an outside chance I'll get back to Garycon someday. I look forward to these conventions, they are my 'vacations' and pretty much the only ones I have had for years. They are busy times though, especially Garycon where I can literally game 96 hours straight. I usually need a couple of days to recover from it, but never take them off, so the recovery is typically spread for a few weeks after the con ends.
I did get out to write today and got a couple of chapters of TZC6 in the can, which was nice. Ideally I’ll go writing all this week, but who knows when the next water heater type incident will raise its ugly head and there are still all those zombies to kill…